RICHMOND RCMP officers from the Serious Crimes Unit, General Investigation Services, and the Organized Crime Unit on Friday, February 17, arrested a man near the 8000-block of Cook Road who is believed to be responsible for two incidents of stranger assaults that occurred on February 14.
The Prosecution Service of BC has approved one count of assault causing bodily harm against Ernesto Mendoza Malgapo, 41, of Richmond. Additional charges are anticipated.
During the mid-morning hours of February 14, a frontline police officer was flagged down by a bystander along the 6400-block of Buswell Street after she discovered a woman lying on the sidewalk.
First aid was provided to the woman, and she was subsequently transported to hospital by Emergency Health Services. At the time, investigators believed this had been a medical emergency of some sort.
Subsequently, a second woman came forward to police to report that she had been assaulted by an unknown male at approximately the same time that day as she was walking along the sidewalk at the same location.
Investigators with Richmond RCMP’s Serious Crime Unit believed these two incidents that occurred on Buswell Street between Cook Road and Saba Road were related.
Police asked anyone who may have witnessed these assaults, or who may have had dash-cam video from the area on that morning or any other information that could help the investigators to contact them.
“The random attacks on women in our community is an affront to common decency and goodness. These attacks were the catalyst for all officers at Richmond Detachment to focus their collective efforts in identifying, locating, and arresting the person or persons responsible,” said Chief Superintendent Dave Chauhan, Officer in Charge of Richmond RCMP, on Sunday.
“The swift arrest of the suspect in these assaults is the culmination of our dedication in this priority matter. We would also like to extend our thanks to the community and media for their assistance.”